Miraloma Life: January 2005

  • MPIC’s Annual Holiday Party
  • NERT Teams “Ham” It Up
  • From Captain Paul Chignell
  • Cruelty to Animals Incident
  • Unbelievable Event
  • Good News
  • Irina’s Skin Care
  • Comment re Teresita Traffic
  • A Note From the President
  • MPIC Website Discussion Page
  • Contributors Wanted
  • Tahoe’s Warming – A News Poem
  • Design Matters
  • Miracles at the Farmer’s Market
  • Update on the Housing Element

MPIC’s Annual Holiday Party

by Kathy Rawlins

The MPIC Holiday Party and Bake-Off, held on December 5, was a resounding success. There was a wonderful mix of oldsters (some in their 90s) and youngsters (a few babes in arms) and then the rest of us. We had a record number of attendees and so many dishes brought in that we could have used another table to display and serve them on.

The MPIC would like to acknowledge the following merchants who donated gift certificates as prizes:Tower Market (2) $25; Tower Burger $20; Portola Cleaners $20; Miraloma Cleaner $20; Round Table Pizza (2) $20; Paradise Pizza $50; Fruition Spa $100; Framed and Cornered $50;
Copperfield’s Stationary $25; Izabella’s Hair Salon Free hair cut ($25 value); Irina’s Skin CareFree Pedicure ($25 value); Miraloma Auto CareFree Oil and Lube; Shaw’s Candies $14 (one lb box of candy); Noah’s Bagels coupon book for free bagels; Empire Theatre (4) $20 movie passes

The MPIC appreciates the generosity of these merchants, especially given the economic climate of the past year. Tower Market gets our special thanks, for in addition to the gift certificate listed above, they donated a case of fine wine for the party. We encourage all residents to patronize these generous and community-minded donors.

Following are the first, second, third and fourth winning entries in each category:

Appetizers: Crab Mold, Salmon Cheesecake, Artichoke Dip, Celery and Ham

Side Dishes/Salads: Spinach Persimmon Salad, Spinach Potato Salad, Corn Soufflé, Sweet Potatoes

Main Dishes: Sonoran Mesquite Short Ribs, Froh’s Barbeque Brisket, Barcelona Stew, Cooper’s Chile

Desserts: Tiramisu, Amelia’s Apple Pie, Chocolate Cake, Angel Kisses

The warmth of the season filled the hall as “Moonlight Rodeo” played holiday music and Boswick Turnstyle, Jr. entertained all with his magic, comedy, and fantastic balloon hat creations.


by Steven Solomon

Q: Is it true that I can now get a FREE copy of my credit report from the national credit bureaus?

A: The “big three” (Experian, Equifax & TransUnion) pooled their resources under the umbrella internet site “annualcreditreport.com” There, you can order your free annual credit report through the internet, by phone or by mail. The big three also provide online access to dispute inaccurate information in your credit report. If you want to see your credit score, pony up about $10.

Q: I took my truck into a dealership for a lube & oil change, costing $150.00. After picking up the truck, I discovered that the chassis was not lubed. I then took the truck to an independent shop & it verified that the chassis had not been lubed. What do I do now?

A: Your best recourse is to file a complaint against the dealership with the Bureau of Automotive Repair. Include all documents, including photos of the chassis taken after the “non-lube.” The Bureau will investigate your complaint, though the process could take months.

Newsflash: Good news & bad news dept. Gallup’s annual public ranking of professions based upon ethics & honesty placed nurses as the no. one admired job. Good news for lawyers — they moved up, with advertisers & car salespeople rounding out the bottom.

NERT Teams “Ham” It Up

by Phil Laird

Anyone who has experienced an earthquake knows that telephones probably won’t be usable after a major disaster. Emergency planning officials, who also know this, are depending on radio for the critical communications they need to coordinate their response. The September 11 attacks in New York City offer a convincing example: amateur radio operators provided vital emergency communications, supplementing the overworked police and fire department radio systems.

San Francisco’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) program has embraced ham (amateur) radio as an essential component of its neighborhood response training. NERT members are urged to attend day-long “Ham Cram” sessions to teach them the bare-minimum they need to pass the test and obtain a technician-class license—to the dismay of long-time ham radio operators. Ham radio has a tradition dating back to 1912, and hams are justifiably proud of the high technical and ethical standards they have maintained. They decry the lowered license requirements and “cram courses” that award licenses to operators with almost no technical knowledge of radio.

The reality, however, is that the rapid spread of cellphones has lessened the need for amatuer radio. Consequently interest in ham radio has been declining, and many amateur radio clubs are closing for lack of membership. Moreover, pressure is mounting on the FCC to reallocate for wireless applications frequencies currently assigned to ham radio. So the widespread adoption of ham radio for emergency communications programs should be seen as potentially reinvigorating the field.

NERT teams in the southern parts of San Francisco are actively developing their ham skills. The West-of-Twin-Peaks Ham Communications Subteam has about twenty members and anticipates that more NERTs will obtain their licenses and participate in monthly radio exercises. Radio communications are challenging in this, the hilliest part of the city. The 2 meter and 70 centimeter radio frequency channels popular with hams require line-of-sight pathways between radios. But our neighborhoods wrap around the hills making lines of sight very short.

Emergency planners have established a hub-and-spokes system for linking neighborhood response teams with city emergency services. Thirteen ham radio stations have been placed in firehouses, known as Emergency Response Districts (ERDs), and each neighborhood is assigned one of these ERDs as its focal point for reporting problems and requesting services. The ERDs in turn communicate with the Auxiliary Communications Service of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Services, the office that will decide where to deploy police, fire, and medical resources. The ERD for Mt. Davidson / Miraloma Park NERT team is Station 15 located at Ocean and Phelan Avenues, near City College. During drills we find that reliable communication between our staging area at Miraloma Playground and the firehouse can be difficult. And yet this link will be vital for our neighborhood.

But communicating with the ERD is only one problem. NERT search and rescue teams will be dispatched by the Incident Command Center at the staging area to all parts of the neighborhood and will need to report their status.

Mt. Davidson blocks half of our neighborhood from line-of-sight with the staging area, so direct radio communications are impossible. Surrounding neighborhoods have the same challenges, so this past year NERT hams have formed the West-of-Twin-Peaks team to try to solve these problems together. Among the solutions we have developed are a system for relaying messages from radio to radio and a repeater that we can park atop Forest Hill. The repeater is visible to most of the area east of Twin Peaks. It receives messages and retransmits them at a higher power to the staging area.

Although our ham team includes several experienced members with licenses beyond the technician level, most of us are novices in the field of ham radio. But judging from the number of roof-mounted antennas and mobile rigs in cars, Miraloma Park has a number of serious radio amateurs residing in the neighborhood. NERT hams would welcome the expertise and assistance of these hams in developing our technical and communications skills, so that Miraloma Park will continue to be one of the best prepared neighborhoods in the city.

The co-coordinators for Mt. Davidson/Miraloma Park NERT are Phil Laird and Gary Isaacson. Contact us by mail (350 O’Shaughnessy Blvd., 94127), by phone (415-469-0876), or by email: pdlaird@pacbell.net or garyi6n@aol.com.

From Captain Paul Chignell

Have you signed up yet to receive Captain Chignell’s email messages concerning crime in the Ingleside Area? It is simple to do. To be put on the list email Paul Chignell @ci.sf.ca.us. Below are a few examples taken from the emails. Captain Chignell writes:

Many folks in the community have asked about the daily email and how accurately it reflects the minor crimes. Please be advised that the minor crime reports such as auto breakins, thefts, etc. are often reported by phone to our teleserve unit at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant Street and are not reflected in these statistics. All of the arrests and major crimes are reflected in this daily email. For a complete and accurate count of minor crimes, please go to the San Francisco Police Department website crime mapping portion.

I have been asked by community members what would be a gift or acknowledgment for the officers at the Ingleside Station. We ask that you not being gifts but consider our favorite donation, the UCSF Children’s Cancer Center at UCSF Children’s Hospital. For more information call me or Kimberly Scurr, 353-1101.

Thank you!

Cruelty to Animals Incident

by Mike Naughton

The San Francisco Police Department is investigating a Cruelty to Animals incident in the surrounding area of Foerster, Mangels, Los Palmos and Teresita. They are searching for a suspect who was shooting at cats and birds with a pellet gun. This individual has reportedly killed one bird. If anyone has any information that would assist in solving this case, please phone the MPIC at 281-0892. We will forward the information to the officer at Animal Care and Control assigned to this case.

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club and the officers of Ingleside station urge anyone seeing or hearing suspicious activity—day or night—to call police immediately (553-0123). If you ever observe weapons or aggressive behavior, call 911. Officers will respond. A safe and healthy neighborhood depends on our proactive work with police to provide targeted enforcement where it is needed. We have zero tolerance for any criminal activity in Miraloma Park. We thank you for helping to keep our neighborhood safe.

Unbelievable Event

by Eric Wong, 7 years old

One Saturday afternoon, I was doing my homework on the third floor and feeling bored because I have not done anything fun or exciting for the day.

Suddenly, my brother was running up the stairs and yelling that a hawk caught a pigeon and smashed into our garden door window. I jumped out of my seat, slammed down my pencile (sic) and running down to the bottom floor, I looked out of the garden door window quietly. I saw a patch of pigeon’s feathers on the grass. I did not see the pigeon or the hawk.

Then I looked up the hill. I saw the hawk had a pigeon under his claws and he was picking out the pigeon’s features. I accidently knocked on the window and the sound startled the hawk. He took the prey and flew away. I can’t believe I witnessed this incredible event right in our backyard.

Good News

 by Christopher  Putz, SFPD Graffiti Abatement, 415-558-5445  

On Friday November 11, Officers Gibbs and Murphy of the Ingleside Station made an outstanding arrest of two juvenile vandals. The officers were working in plain clothes to abate gang and vandalism problems in the Mission Street area.

They saw a kid that had paint on his hands and on his back pack and stopped to talk with him.  During their conversation the kid said he found the knapsack.  He later changed his story and admitted it was his, along with the spray paint and paint pens.  The second suspect had a replica firearm, champagne and marijuana inside his knapsack.

This arrest happened because these officers were pro-active on a Holiday and observant.  They clearly took the initiative.  They weren’t responding to a call or flagged down by a citizen.  Based on their street smarts they knew these kids were up to trouble.

Bottom line is they prevented vandalism and your guess is as good as mine as to why they had a fake hand gun.

Irina’s Skin Care
A Miraloma Park Mini-Spa

by Jim O’Donnell

This is the first of a series of articles to showcase your local businesses in Miraloma Park. Two new operations are Irina’s Skin Care and Izabella’s Beauty Salon virtually next door to each other at 29 and 21 Evelyn at Portola. We will have an article about Izabella in next month’s issue.

Irina Vayn opened her new salon at 29 Evelyn near Portola last August. With 15 years experience at Cinta Salon in downtown San Francisco, she has now opened her own business for the first time. Originally from the Ukraine, she was a trained as a nurse and moved with her husband Alex to the U. S. in 1989 during the Glasnost and Perestroika years of the old Soviet Union. As a by-the-way, attorney Svetlana Kaff, the recent supervisorial candidate, is from Odessa in the Ukraine, while Irina and her husband are from the ancient city of Kharkov. Alex has a piano-tuning business in San Francisco. So I guess you could say “the Ukrainians are coming, the Ukrainians are coming!”

Irina’s services are not about the Ukraine, which has been making the news recently, but about customers interested in first-class skin treatment here in our neighborhood. Besides being a nurse, she is a licensed California beautician and salon operator.

Irina’s salon features many services you would expect in a spa, but not generally found in a standard nail salon. Clients are treated to a pedicure with relaxing foot whirlpool and facials are done in the best aromatherapy environment. She features French Decleor, a top-of-the-industry line of skin and aromatherapy products.

Irina has a new customer special for her whole line of skin care services, so call now to talk over your skin care needs! Give her a call at 415-242-1023.

Comment re Teresita Traffic

by Bert Hill El Sereno Court 

Sometimes attempts to improve safety can have unintended consequences that actually defeat the intent.   I believe there is a near-consensus in the neighborhood that traffic on Teresita Blvd. should adhere to the 25 MPH speed limit.  While police enforcement can be somewhat effective, the most reliable way is through street design using traffic calming techniques that cause auto drivers to slow their speed.  One technique is intersection uncertainty, where drivers ‘negotiate’ at unmarked intersections, and must enter at a lower speed limit.  Unfortunately, installing the Yield on Teresita at Fowler has the effect of encouraging faster driving from Fowler through this intersection.     Admittedly, at times negotiation doesn’t work well.  If there is a need to impose a Yield sign, it would make more sense to place it on Fowler at Teresita.  The traffic coming from Teresita and Portola is arguably much more local and likely to be slower than traffic (e.g., City College-bound ) coming from the Portola/Fowler intersection.  Furthermore, drivers on Fowler southbound view this intersection from the driver’s side, and need only look for Southbound traffic on Teresita.  Drivers on Teresita Southbound must look in both directions, implicitly more dangerous.   I bicycle that intersection every day, and have found that the curve on Fowler viewed from the Teresita Yield’line traveling southbound is pretty blind to slow moving traffic. Since I am traveling only about 5 MPH across this intersection, cars barreling around the turn have already barely missed me, unconsciously assured of their right of way.  As drivers on Fowler become more comfortable with their priority, speeds are likely to increase all the way to the Reposa stop sign.   In the interest of promoting lower speed, I would suggest moving the Yield sign and line to Fowler Street at Teresita, if any change is necessary. 
Editor’s note: It has come to our attention that many households did not receive the newsletter for the past two months. Since this is the season for our appeal for membership, we are reprinting this message from President Jim O’Donnell.

A Note From the President

by Jim O’Donnell

We invite you to renew your membership in the Miraloma Park Improvement Club (MPIC). MPIC exists thanks to the support of all residents. We provide valuable neighborhood services and fun events like the Kitchen, Home Remodel, and Garden Tours, Political Forums and the Holiday Party.

The Newsletter and Website provide a means to reach out to our residents about the activities of the Club, local issues, classes, and events, as well as educational topics.  Our website features a discussion page for on-line users.
The Clubhouse, built and donated by the developers of Miraloma Park in 1937, is available for rental at a reduced rate to MPIC members.

The publication “Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines” was produced by the MPIC and adopted by the Planning Commission in 1999 to help homeowners and architects improve properties while maintaining the charm and architectural character of our neighborhood.
For years, Board members have personally eradicated graffiti in and around Miraloma Park. As a result, we have a nearly graffiti-free neighborhood that has become a deterrent to “taggers.”

By constant and consistent communication with our local police precinct, we have been able to maintain a safer neighborhood. Traffic problems, such as speeding and running stop signs, have been reduced and continue to be addressed.
Our dedicated, volunteer Board of Directors give freely of their time and effort to help to make this community a better place to live, but they cannot succeed without your support. Also, the more members we have, the more credibility we have with city government, and the more effectively we will be able to lobby elected and other officials on behalf of Miraloma Park. If you appreciate the quality of life in Miraloma Park, fill in the 2005 membership form inserted in this month’s newsletter, and send it with your check to the listed address.


MPIC Website Discussion Page

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club website discussion page is back in business. You can now post messages of importance or interest to the community or reply to messages or announcements others have posted.

Our WebMaster, Ron Proctor is to be congratulated for getting the discussion page back into action so soon.

Let your neighbors know your thoughts by accessing www.miraloma park.org.


Contributors Wanted

As you have probably noticed, Miraloma Park has expanded to 12 pages in the past year. This gives us room for many more articles of interest.

We are looking for individuals who would like to inform and entertain their neighbors. Poetry is always welcome as are articles on nature, current events, safety, history of Miraloma Park, gardening and how to better our environment.

We encourage any one who writes short fiction to send us some stories. Interviews with neighbors who are of interest are always enjoyed. Politics can be a bit tricky but we want to know everyone’s views.

Please consider writing an article for your neighborhood newsletter.


Tahoe’s Warming – A News Poem

by Stan Andersen

Third deepest
North American lake
Old Tahoe in the
High Sierra
Where flashing fish live

Grows steadily warmer,
Twenty seven thousandths
Of a degree each year;
We know too well
How to read the change.

Other lakes
Around the globe
Are warming too,
Icy depths from which
Colder waters well upwards

And keep crystal
Surface waters clear
Against the darkening sky.


Design Matters

Peter A. Zepponi, AIA – Architect

This is a monthly column addressing basic residential design and home improvement, topics of interest to Miraloma Park residents. If you have a question or topic you’d like considered for a future article please email pazdesignmatters@aol.com.

Q: How much space is required for a new shower?

A: 1,024 square inches. ( 32″x 32″ or 30″x 34.13″)

Q: How much space is required for a toilet?

A: It depends on the toilet, but usually 30″x 54″.

Q. How much space is required for the sink?

A. It depends on the size of the sink and configuration of the bathroom, but you have to maintain the toilet clearances.

Last month I received these three very common questions from two separate clients interested in adding a shower or half bathroom. Usually these clients have their eye on a hall or linen closet and have visions of a half bath or shower which they can describe in elaborate detail. However, before you run out and invest in your dream pedestal sink consider the following space requirements.

SHOWER: The California Plumbing Code (CPC 412.7) requires all shower compartments, regardless of shape, to have a minimum finished interior floor area of 1,024 square inches and shall also be capable of encompassing a thirty (30″) inch circle. The minimum area and dimensions must be maintained to a point seventy (70″) inches above the floor drain.

What this means is that the standard minimum shower is 32″x32″=1,024 square inches. However 30″ x 34.13″ also equals 1024 square inches and can fit a 30″ diameter circle inside of it and is therefore another minimum configuration that satisfies the code. Many closets are 30″ deep.

TOILET: A toilet (water closet) must be located in a clear space not less than 30 inches in width. The clear space in front of the rim of the toilet must be at least 24″. California Building Code (CBC 2904) A standard toilet is approximately 30″ long, so a 30″ toilet + 24″ clear space = 54″. Therefore you need a clear floor space of at least 30″ wide x 54″ deep to install a toilet.

As I mentioned in last month, if you do not meet the basic requirements there is often another way to meet compliance. With toilets, I have successfully designed a toilet in a space 30″wide x 46″deep. You can’t change the code, but you can change the type of toilet. In this case I selected a Geberit Tessera* wall hung European toilet. This toilet has the water tank concealed inside of the wall. By doing so, the toilet is approximately 8″ shorter than a standard toilet and can legally be installed in a very small space. American Standard and a few others make a similar model.

SINK: The building code does not specifically identify space requirements for a sink in a single family residence. For all other types of construction you are required to have a space 30″ wide x 48″ deep. This is a good rule of thumb for residential construction as well. If you do not have the luxury of extra space the toilet and sink arrangement needs to be carefully considered based upon the available space so that you don’t end up with a “funky” bathroom. There are literally hundreds of sinks of all shapes and sizes to choose from that will fit your requirements.

To view the San Francisco Codes go to www.amlegal.com/sanfran/viewcode.htm


ARCHI-TECH TALK: Water Closet: A toilet.

Lavatory: A sink.

* This column and its content are intended to be a source of general information. Applicability to your specific project should be verified.


Peter A. Zepponi is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and of the International Program in Florence, Italy with a concentration in adaptive reuse and historic preservation, and was a project architect on the team responsible for the renovation of the San Francisco City Hall. Since that time he has established an architectural firm specializing in residential and commercial architecture and is raising a fourth generation Miraloma Park resident (Luke) with his wife Natalie.


Miracles at the Farmer’s Market

There! Cross between eggplant
and pineapple, bumpy skin
the color of boiled carrot,
stalk purple-black.

Another! Curled-up tube of
fluegel-horn but deep red,
singing out its ingrown
twists to the listening world.

A third, grasshopper green,
thorned length curving
gentle as the lobed abdomen
of a giant mantis, resting.

Who in the world knows
how to grow and cook
vegetables exotic as Triffids
and how ever did they find out?

It must be you, old black man with
bunched fingers, rhizome limbs
spreading growth juice at a glance,
firming all wilting with a touch.

Or you, brown gourd-headed lady
gnomic and rune-written face
radiating primal urge to burst
into flower or fruit of crazy shape.

Or you, small cross-legged girl
on a crate in the alley, wide eyes
absorbing and re-creating everything:
don’t close them—we’ll all disappear!

Copyright©Dan Liberthson, 2004

Update on the Housing Element

by Dan Liberthson

Those of you who have been reading the Miraloma Life this year will know from previous articles that a long contest was fought in the public arena concerning the Planning Department’s proposal for a new Housing Element (HE). This is a vitally important matter, since the HE component of the Master Plan will guide the approach to residential development for many years to come. The HE developed by the Department makes fundamental changes in the City’s planning policies for residential development and shifts housing policy significantly from the prior (1990) HE. The new HE substantially modifies and reduces or removes residential parking requirements, eliminates previous protection for existing neighborhood densities, and strongly encourages developers to build to the limit of allowable densities. All this was proposed without any serious consideration of environmental impact, and was deemed necessary and urgent on the basis of population and housing-need estimations from data compiled during the Tech bubble of the late 90s—hardly applicable in the current and ongoing post-boom recession.

Consequently, a City-wide coalition of neighborhoods challenged the Planning Department on the HE, but to no avail, as the Department adopted the plan in May. The neighborhoods then appealed the Planning Commission’s decision to adopt the proposed HE without requiring an environmental impact review (EIR), which had been conducted for previous HEs (the State requires submission of a new HE every 10 years). The Planning Commission nonetheless approved adopting the HE. At the Board of Supervisors, the neighborhoods once again requested that the HE not be adopted without thorough study of potential environmental impacts. Nonetheless, the Board of Supervisors denied the neighborhoods’ appeal and voted to adopt the new HE on September 28.

This left no avenue open to the neighborhoods but an appeal to the judiciary to enforce the regulations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which require that an EIR be done on an HE that has such potential significant impact on the environment. Consequently, a coalition of 14 neighborhood groups, including the Miraloma Park Improvement Club, retained counsel and, on November 30, initiated a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco in Superior Court. The suit requests that the Court compel the City to vacate its decision to adopt the HE, and to comply with CEQA requirements for an EIR on the HE, given that there is fair argument that the policies in the HE may have significant environmental impacts, including negative effects on visual quality and neighborhood character, transportation, land use, utilities, public services, traffic congestion, noise, and air quality.

The MPIC will continue to provide updates on the progress of the litigation as matters develop.

Last week city workers came and painted white lines and the word Yield on the roadway. The picture was taken at 7 a. m. on a foggy morning again from the same perspective. Comments?

Last Updated
November 18, 2017
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